Cleve Jones ‘dismayed’ by arrests at LGBTI march in Havana

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Cleve Jones marching at the National Equality March in 2009. (Photo by Gil Goldstein via Wikimedia Commons)

Cleve Jones said May 14 he is “dismayed” by the arrest of several people during an unsanctioned LGBTI march that took place in Havana over the weekend.

Jones, who is based in San Francisco, and Rainbow World Fund Executive Director Jeff Cotter in a statement said they “are saddened by the” Cuban government’s decision to cancel two International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia marches that were scheduled to take place in Havana and the city of Camagüey “due to pressure from anti-LGBTQ fundamentalist Christians who oppose the significant advancements that LGBTQ people have made in Cuban society.”

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Cuban LGBTQ rights groups hold unauthorized march in Havana

By : Wire Report
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HAVANA (AP) | LGBTQ-rights activists organizing on social media held an unauthorized march May 11 down eight blocks of one of Havana’s main thoroughfares before they were stopped by police.

The march was the second by a non-governmental organization in Cuba in slightly more than a month. That’s highly unusual in a country where the only legal civil society groups are de facto arms of the Communist government. Any sort of unofficial march or demonstration has long been met with a swift and overwhelming police response.

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Cuba blocks DC LGBT reporter from entering country

By : Staff Reports OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cuban authorities on May 8 refused to allow Washington Blade International News Editor Michael K. Lavers to enter the country.

Lavers arrived at Havana’s José Marti International Airport on an American Airlines flight from Miami shortly before noon EST.

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LGBTI marches in Cuba cancelled

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The organizer of Cuba’s annual International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia marches on Monday announced they have been cancelled.

The marches were to have taken place in Havana on May 11 and the city of Camagüey on May 17.

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Cuba begins distributing PrEP through pilot program

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The Cuban government has begun to distribute PrEP through a pilot program that began last month.

Granma, the official newspaper of the Cuban Communist Party, last week reported 28 people in Cárdenas, a city in Matanzas province that is roughly 90 miles east of Havana, have received PrEP since the program began on March 6.

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Mariela Castro’s group to honor Cleve Jones in Cuba

By : Michael K. Lavers Of The Washington Blade, Courtesy Of The National LGBT Media Association
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An organization the daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro directs will honor LGBTI rights activist Cleve Jones in Havana in May.

The Rainbow World Fund, a San Francisco-based organization that describes itself as “the world’s first and only all-volunteer, LGBTQ-based humanitarian aid organization,” on March 26 said in a press release that Cuba’s National Center for Sexual Education will honor Jones on May 10 during a gala at Havana’s Karl Marx Theater. The press release also notes Jones has been chosen as a grand marshal for a march that will take place in the Cuban capital the following day.

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Marriage amendment removed from new Cuba constitution

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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HAVANA | The Cuban government on Dec. 18 announced the draft of the country’s new constitution will not contain an amendment that would have extended marriage rights to same-sex couples.

Hatzel Vela, a Havana-based reporter for WPLG, a South Florida television station, reported the Cuban National Assembly cited Council of State Secretary Homero Acosta Álvarez in a series of tweets that explained the decision.

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Cuban president backs same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel has said he supports an amendment to his country’s new constitution that would extend marriage rights to same-sex couples.

“I defend that there should be no type of discrimination,” he told Telesur, a television station that is largely funded by the Venezuelan government, during an interview that aired on Sunday. “The will of the people and the people’s sovereignty will have the final word.”

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Cuba activists push for same-sex marriage

By : Michael K. Lavers of the Washington Blade, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A torrential downpour was passing over the Cuban capital on May 11 when Violeta Cardoso and her partner of 32 years, Isabel Pacheco, arrived at a coffee shop in the Vedado neighborhood.

The women soon began to speak passionately about LGBTI-specific issues with Juana Mora and Lidia Romero of Acepto, a group that advocates for marriage rights for same-sex couples in Cuba. It was sweltering inside the coffee shop because of a power outage, but the women nevertheless spoke with each other for more than an hour as they drank iced tea and coffee.

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Ros-Lehtinen talks retirement, slams Trump’s military trans ban

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Letinen (R-Fla.) speaks with the Washington Blade at her office on Capitol Hill on May 21. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

Retiring U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) last week reiterated her criticism of President Trump over a host of issues that includes his effort to ban transgender people from the military.

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Daniela Vega takes part in Havana LGBTI march

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Daniela Vega on May 12, 2018, participated in a march in Havana that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. Photo courtesy Sony Pictures Classics.

HAVANA — The transgender actress who starred in “A Fantastic Woman” on Saturday participated in a march that commemorated the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in Havana.

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Mariela Castro to push for marriage, LGBTQ rights in Cuba

By : Michael K. Lavers OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Mariela Castro, daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro, leads an LGBTQ march through Havana on May 13, 2017. She told reporters on May 4, 2018, that she and her organization, the National Center for Sexual Education, will push for marriage and other rights for LGBTQ Cubans in the country’s National Assembly. Washington Blade photo by Michael Key.

The daughter of former Cuban President Raúl Castro on Friday said her organization plans to submit proposals to the country’s National Assembly that would extend marriage and other rights to LGBTQ Cubans.

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